I can't help but notice birds in my garden. Besides the potential fertilizer they may leave behind, birds can transport seeds in that same "fertilizer", both desirable and weed seeds. They eat some insect pests as well, plus beneficial bugs. In the balance of a garden's miniature ecosystem, attempting to destroy an entire population of destructive insects may chase away (and poison) the good guys.
I have seen gold finches quite a bit in the community garden. The beatiful yellow birds with black detailing, among others, are eye-candy as surely as the flowers that attract them. A nice video of deer and several types of birds was filmed in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. To watch it, click here.
I know that furry critters can run away with bulbs one has planted. I've wondered if birds abscond with recently sown seeds, too. Crows and small birds show up in the garden community where I rent my plot. If they do, it hasn't affected germination as far as I can tell. I will have to keep my eyes open.
My sunflowers attract birds. I will gladly grow them each season I can to provide food. In fact, sunflowers are one of the top 10 flowers for birds, according to Birdwatcher's Digest, Mexican sunflowers included.
Supporting sunflowers against strong winds is a challenge I have yet to meet, but so far only one windstorm totaled mine. That was at the end of the season in 2006; frequent heavy rainfall all summer had already washed away a great deal of soil, no doubt contributing to my sunflowers' literal downfall.
Our local newspaper featured an article on bluebirds last Sunday. I have learned that their numbers have declined quite a bit.Sparrows, among others birds, have taken their place, so some people have chosen to learn how to attract and host blue birds. Some advice? Well, they naturally nest in open areas rather than wooded spaces. More advice? Check out this article:
All About Bluebirds
Maybe if we bring them back, happiness will come, too. Why do I say this? Because of the phrase "bluebird of happiness". It reminds me of "Mister blue bird's on my shoulder", a line from the celebratory song Zip-a-dee-doo-dah .
Top ten flowers for birds, according to Bird Watcher's Digest:
1. Purple coneflower
4. Black-eyed susan
5. Buddleia or butterly bush
6. Bee balm
7. Larkspur and delphinuim
10. Coral bells
Details on these flowers can be found at the link:
Bird Watcher's Digest
Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania